“Don’t wait—just get started!” and other observations from #SDSummit18

May 24 2018

“Don’t wait—just get started!” and other observations from #SDSummit18

SiriusDecisions Summit 2018 set a new bar for their annual conference—serving a lot less academic viewpoints and a lot more actionable content with hands-on sessions. Our team sat in on topics surrounding intent, personalization, GDPR, and, of course, The Demand Unit (see last year’s article, Leads are Dead).

Lisa Cole, CMO of Huron Consulting Group and ROI Award Winner at the SiriusDecisions Summit, perfectly summed up the biggest takeaway at this year’s event during her presentation:

“Don’t wait—just get started!”

The gist of her message was not one of ambition but rather one of caution—the world is changing fast, and if you wait to start making changes, then you’ll always be chasing your competition.

Here’s what the Bulldog team plans to “just get started” on (if we haven’t already) to stay on top of B2B marketing trends.

Start Being GDPR Compliant

Naylor Gray, managing director at Bulldog, was focused on GDPR. “I attended a couple of sessions on GDPR, and I think most people have no idea how far-reaching the implications of these privacy regulations are. Although this is technically just an EU regulation, the impact will be felt globally,” Gray explained.

GDPR is about more than updating your privacy policy or modifying your opt-in process. “We believe that GDPR represents an opportunity for our clients to reimagine their user experience and architect a journey that is better and globally compliant,” Gray said.

Start Aligning to Buyer (Committee) Behavior

Josh Thomas, director of Business Development, saw real strides toward putting key activities from previous years into practice, including the Demand Unit Waterfall.

“Last year, Sirius introduced the Demand Unit Waterfall as a more appropriate way for enterprise marketers to measure their lead flow and engage a prospect’s entire buying committee,” Thomas said. “Since then, the focus has shifted from ‘what is it’ to ‘how have people like me done it.’”

The Demand Unit Waterfall helps marketing teams manage performance with more discipline in two specific ways. It allows you to align your marketing systems and measurements with the buyers’ needs within the “buying committee,” as well as define how your solution solves those needs (especially if you’re selling multiple solutions to multiple buying groups).

This year it’s all about making sure your operations, infrastructure, and reporting are aligned to this buying behavior, so that you can ensure your campaigns and content are most appropriately mapped to contacts within that buying group and you can better track and forecast behavior across the sales funnel.

Start Focusing on the Customer Experience (Not Your Product)

Jen West, account director, gravitated toward customer engagement and customer-experience-driven sessions. Every aspect of a business—product, sales enablement, life cycle, nurture, AI, you name it— directly impacts the customer experience.

In the Vocera keynote, “Transforming to Buyer-Centric Marketing to Drive Pipeline,” they shared their journey from leading conversations focused on product features to driving conversations focused on buyers and what motivates them. The total marketing department transformation included aligning their marketing strategy to business impact and tailoring their customer experiences by better understanding their buyers’ needs—all of which boiled down to hyper-focusing on the customer.

“Customer experience has been king in consumer for some time, and we’re starting to see B2B follow with a shift toward CX as a driving differentiator and deal-maker,” West said. “With the saturation of largely commoditized products and services, and ahead of major consolidation, it’s difficult to differentiate on product and price alone. The B2B landscape is changing, and customers will pay a premium for superior experience.”

Start (Actually) Using Your Data

Mark Bruno, senior director of analytics, was encouraged by SiriusDecisions’ mature perspective regarding opportunities for exploiting the benefits of analytics, and their advocacy for related best practices. SiriusDecisions echoed the Harvard Business Review’s contention that “inaccurate, incomplete data,” “data silos,” and “lack of data analytics resources” are among the top go-to-market challenges today.

Assuming these data and resource challenges could be conquered, there is an increased value proposition of “shifting investments from tactical reporting and dashboarding to strategic data science capabilities,” Bruno said.

“Overall, I was very impressed with SiriusDecisions’ content-centric focus of the new Demand Unit Waterfall™ data model, as well as the discussion surrounding SiriusDecisions’ Sales Intelligence Model, and how it applies to developing sales insights to support sales optimization strategies,” Bruno said.

 

Interested in implementing these practices but don’t know where to start? Need help staying on top of B2B marketing trends? Feel free to reach out to our team of B2B marketing experts (we kinda know what we’re talking about).

 

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